As a child, you often dreamt that your parents would ship you off to find a better life in a faraway land.
Oh, you didn’t? Really? Because it was quite an adventure for the characters in Betsy Carter’s new novel, The Puzzle King.
The prologue introduces us to Flora Phelps, as she attempts to bribe a consul into letting her family leave 1936 Germany. It then flashes back to 1892, when we meet Simon Phelps, an introspective 10-year-old arriving alone in a vividly drawn Manhattan. There he meets his future wife — and fellow immigrant — Flora, and her stylish older sister, Seema. Even as the engrossing characters prosper, they continue to face life as outsiders.
The novel jumps between Flora’s family in Germany and her life in New York, moving forward in time toward the fateful beginning.
When the puzzle pops together.